This was my first UCLA Festival of Books and it was quite the adventure. I knew it would be crowded and the parking (8 bucks) a nightmare so my only alternative was to take public transportation. Hey, I talk about being "green" so let's try it.
Because I live about 35 miles from UCLA I decided to cut down my bus ridin' time a little and drive 15 miles to a central bus hub. The Metro website has this great trip planner and even better directions. A $3 all-day pass and two buses and I was there.
Arriving about 10:00 a.m. I thought this was too easy, then about noon the crowds came. Thank god I got lunch early because after twelve the lines were unbelievable. Lunch was two soft tacos and I found a shaded grassy area next to Janns Steps.
There were vendors booths all over the campus from big book sellers to little self-published authors. A man stopped me and read a bit of a poem from his book. We all need more poetry in our lives and I was glad to hear his on a warm sunny day in Los Angeles, with 100,000 of our closest friends.
If you had kids this would be the place to come. There was an entire area set aside for kids books with a stage where different celebs read aloud.
I'd did make it over to the Cooking Stage to see Food Network's Chef Dave Leiberman give a demo. He wasn't as smooth as his TV show but very friendly with the crowd answering all types of questions. It was a bit breezy and toppled his sign.
Ok, so what did I save by going "green?" At 52 cents a mile from the hub, $ 12.21, oh, and 8 bucks for parking less the 3 dollar day pass that saved me $17.21 for the day. For my 15 mile trip I cut out about 14 lbs of carbon. Doesn't sound like much but this is just one trip in a Hybrid Honda so if you had some huge SUV suckin' the life out of California it would help to travel, if only for a bit of your trip, by public transportation.
Will I do this again? Yes, I'm at the Getty Center, same bus line, once a week so when we have big traffic days, I'm gonna bus-it. Benefit? Saved money, got to read my book--both coming and going--got to see some poor soul that tucks his shirt into his underpants--and doesn't care. But that's for another post.